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Adobe Flex is becoming a popular choice for generating the client side of enterprise Java applications. In this first of two articles, Dustin Marx demonstrates how Flex can help you deliver highly interactive user interfaces that access your Java EE application's enterprise logic. Get a hands-on introduction to perfecting a simple Flex client, then enable it to communicate with your Java EE server. Level: Beginner
Flex 3 gives you another choice for building browser-based UIs for your Java EE applications. If you haven't yet discovered how simple it is to add rich clients to enterprise Java applications with Flex, this article could serve as your point of entry. You'll find out what benefits Flex brings to the table, how to create application layouts using Flex's XML grammar, and how to make your Flex client work with a Java EE application.
We know that some Java developers are resistant to Flex as a front-end technology for Java EE, but there's a strong argument for giving Flex a chance. Author Dustin Marx discusses the factors driving Flex adoption in the Java community in a sidebar to this hands-on article.
Before I ask you to install Flex and start putting together a sample application, let's consider the advantages of using Flex as a client-side technology. Flex offers advantages specific to Java developers and some that are more general. We'll look at both.
Adopting a new technology means embracing a learning curve, which can take some convincing. Here are some general advantages to using Flex:
General benefits might be enough to attract you to Flex, but there are others that are mostly or entirely aimed at Java developers.
Download the Flex SDK, including the command-line compiler and debugger. A single zip file contains the Flex SDK for multiple platforms.